Stefani Carroll-Kirchoff of Maplewood, Minnesota told CNN that she always checks her washing machine and dryer before turning them on. It's a necessity for Carroll-Kirchoff when you have three curious cats who wander around the house in search of new experiences without considering the repercussions.
Last week, Carroll-Kirchoff rushed through the clothes washing process before heading out. It was this lone instance where she forgot to conduct her usual check, and one of the worst fears for her felines were realized when her 1-year-old Felix was found inside the machine.
When the express wash cycle with warm water and a cold rinse was over 35 minutes later, Carroll-Kirchoff noticed that her clothes were still wet. Just as she was about to shut the door again, she saw a white paw emerge from the pile of soaking clothes. She immediately pulled Felix out, and rushed him to the Animal Emergency and Referral Center of Minnesota with her mother, grandfather, and brother.
Despite suffering vision loss and pneumonia from the amount of water in his lungs, Felix is alive, and on the road to a full recovery. Felix may still be on oxygen, but he has started eating. The good news is a minor consolation for Carroll-Kirchoff, who is still taking her feline friend's ordeal rather hard. "I've been in shock the last few days," she told CNN. "I mean, this is going to haunt me for the rest of my life."
With Felix's medical costs piling up, Carroll-Kirchoff's daughter Asha Carroll started a GoFundMe to help cover the expenses. Her page has already surpassed their goal of $15,000 in just six days.